Add your Organization to OuterSpatial. Learn more here.

Griffy Lake Nature Preserve



  • Directions

  • Size

    1240.79 acres


Griffy Lake Nature Preserve (1240.8 acres) located at 3400 N Headley Rd. is home to several rare plant species and is considered one of the best remaining examples of mature upland forest in this area. Due to these unusual and fragile characteristics, as well as the scientific value of the land, this area has been set aside for preservation and protection. 

To help protect the unique features and qualities of this natural area, some activities are prohibited, including horseback riding, mountain biking, off-road vehicles, dumping, military excursions, camping, campfires, and swimming. 

The surface of the lake often freezes in winter with varying ice conditions that can be hazardous. The City of Bloomington assumes no responsibility for accidents resulting from individuals venturing onto the ice.

Griffy Lake Boathouse is open seasonally for Kayak, canoe, and stand up paddle board rental. Daily launch passes can also be purchased at the boathouse. 

View drone footage of Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

Report a problem at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve here.

Bloomington Parks and Recreation Park Property Rules

To learn more about Griffy Lake Rules & Regulations, click here.

Allowed Activities
Dog Walking
Wildlife Watching
Stand-up Paddling
Good For
Rules & Regulation
Dogs On Leash
No Biking
Fishing Permits Required
No Illegal Substances
No Campfires
No Camping
No Horses
No Motorized
Pack Out Dog Waste

Additional Information

Accessibility Description

  • Gravel lot with two paved accessible parking spots. 
  • All trails are unpaved with many having steps or uneven trails. 
    • Wetland trail has no steps and is lowest grade. 
  • Wheelchair access to pit toilets, kayak launch, boathouse, and dock. 

History of Griffy Lake Nature Preserve

Bloomington Water Company originated in 1923 with the intent to build a dam on Griffy Creek to ease periodic water shortages caused by leaking reservoirs on the west side of Bloomington. The dam was constructed in 1924 and with it, Griffy Lake was born. By 1934, the City of Bloomington acquired ownership of the water treatment plant located adjacent to Griffy Lake and much of the surrounding property. In 1995, the Griffy Lake Water Treatment Plant was decommissioned; however, Griffy Lake remains as a back-up water supply to the City of Bloomington. 

The nature preserve was formed from more than 45 property acquisitions which occurred between 1922 and 2019. In total, the Griffy Lake Nature Preserve covers 1,220 acres including the 109-acre Griffy Lake. The southwest portion of the property was designated a state nature preserve by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources in 1991.